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Lake Oswego School District working to update background check, fingerprinting policies

The Lake Oswego School Board held a work session Monday, Feb. 10, to discuss bond sales, the 2020-21 school year budget and an updated background check policy.

Stuart Ketzler, assistant superintendent of business services, along with Duncan Brown, a financial adviser, presented the board with a draft resolution for the remaining $27 million of general obligation bonds that the district plans to sell in April.

To comply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spend-down rules, only $160 million of the $187 million voter-approved general obligation bond authorization was issued in 2017. This year the district will sell the remainder of the bond.

The resolution sets maximum interest rates, appoints bond counsel and authorizes either the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of Business Services to make certain designations within the limits of the resolution.

The resolution will be brought back in final form at the Feb. 24 school board meeting for action.

Ketzler then presented the proposed 2020-21 school site allocation budgets.

In addition to the standard allocation and an extra $5,000 each for the district's Title I schools — Oak Creek and River Grove Elementary Schools — the supplemental School Improvement Plan (SIP) is proposed as a separate additional allocation to each school. SIP was first implemented in the 2016-17 school year and it represented the first increase in per-pupil allocations for school site budgets since they were reduced in the 2008-09 school year.

Each SIP is budgeted and tracked according to each school's improvement plan.

The budgets for elementary schools are still somewhat in flux since a decision on elementary boundaries, and with it each school's enrollment, won't come until April. The proposed budget is based on the draft 3 boundary adjustment enrollment — the current draft version of the elementary boundaries for the 2020-21 school year.

"We can't wait until the end of that process because there's a lot of work at the school site level in terms of each principal working with their leadership team," Ketzler said.

In the event that a school exceeds more than 2% of the enrollment that was accounted for, additional funds will be provided.

SIP funds create opportunities for professional development as needed at that particular school. Things like extra tutoring hours, learning materials and guest speakers also come out of SIP funds.

The board provided a consensus approval so individual schools could begin their budgeting processes but a formal approval of the budget will happen in the spring.

Finally, LOSD Executive Director of Human Resources Donna Atherton brought forward an updated policy on background checks and fingerprinting.

"If you have direct unsupervised contact with our children you must be background checked and fingerprinted,"Atherton said. "It doesn't matter what capacity you serve in, if you are an employee of the district or if you're in a volunteering role, if you are not in a supervised setting and you're alone with children you must be fingerprinted."

Examples would be support music instructors who may work with a student individually on an instrument, contractors or vendors who are on school grounds.

Crimes that would show up on a background check and bar someone from being in proximity with students fall into three categories, Atherton said. They are: murder and other violent crimes, illegal, unlawful sexual conduct, and illegal manufacturing or distribution of drugs.


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